The LibDems have dismissed talk of Nick Clegg losing Sheffield Hallam as nonsense, but Lord Ashcroft has him trailing Labour by two points in the seat today. The rest of the LibDem battleground polling makes dire reading too. Just a snapshot…
As of this morning there have been 5 polls since Paxo interviewed the two leaders. Averaging them all out it appears there has been no ‘Miliband bounce’ post-Paxo as Labour have hoping, the two main parties are still neck and neck. Both the Tories and Labour are squeezing up towards that 35% mark, while UKIP are feeling it down on an average 12%. The Green surge has fallen away slightly down on 5 points.
Not like the Sunday Times to have an errant poll throwing everyone off guard…
If you want an illustration of just how low trust in politicians is nowadays, Anthony Wells’ UK Polling Report has a classic example from last week:
I mentioned some YouGov polling about which taxes would rise under a Labour or Conservative government, conducted before Prime Minister’s Question time, Cameron ruling out a VAT rise and Ed Balls ruling out an NI rise. YouGov repeated those questions in this poll to see if they had changed. At the start of the week, 31% of people thought VAT would rise if the Conservatives won.
Following David Cameron ruling out a rise in VAT, this is now… 32%. At the start of the week 39% of people expected national insurance to rise if Labour won, but since Ed Balls ruled it out, that has changed to… 40%. A lovely illustration of how much of the politicians’ arguments, exchanges and pledges make not the slightest difference to public opinion.
Savour that. After the Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury, the Right Honourable David Cameron and the Right Honourable Ed Balls both solemnly promised not to raise specific taxes, the public now believes they are actually more likely to do it. This is why, in Guido’s opinion, Nigel Farage is on to something with the vote winning campaign slogan: “Sod the lot. Vote UKIP”
After the YouGov poll on Sunday showing a 4% lead for Labour post-Paxman Tory nerves were frazzled. This morning ComRes has it; Con 36%, Lab 32%, Lib 9%, UKIP 12%, Green 5%.
That will settle Tory nerves…
YouGov calls it for Dave too…
Lord Ashcroft’s focus group is back, this time asked how they think each party leader would spend a free Friday night:
Cameron: “get a helicopter to Cornwall” with Sam and the kids, or go “to his club” to engage in “mildly inappropriate banter with Conservative MPs and eight bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon”
Farage: go to the pub, possibly after a spot of fishing, or “to a French restaurant with his German wife to complain about immigration”
Clegg: would take his wife and children ten-pin bowling, or stay in with them to watch Great British Bake Off
Miliband: if he did not have a “posh dinner party” planned, would be playing with the train set some suspect he has in his loft, or spend the time “reading the opinion polls for something to grab onto”
But how many lofts does Ed have?
The Ashcroft focus group is back and this time his Lordship has asked which job would each party leader be best suited to outside of politics:
Cameron: “a headmaster, or a company director in charge of things”
Farage: “a pub landlord, and a good one at that, or would run his own small but successful business”
Clegg: “probably something administrative or perhaps a supermarket store manager”
Miliband: “university professor”
Former Harvard lecturer Miliband shouldn’t have quit the day job…
The Political Studies Association has asked 465 academics, 45 journalists and 27 pollsters to predict the election outcome and they concluded:
Our inaugural expert survey points towards a tight election, in which Labour is marginal favourite to come out ahead